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I worked on a Moana playset for Disney Infinity. Here's why I'm excited about it

I was story lead on the Disney Infinity Moana playset.
I was story lead on the Disney Infinity Moana playset.
Heather Dixon

Have you guys seen "Moana" yet? Did you love it?

I did. I watched it, and I bawled. Wasn’t it so good?

(Admittedly, I’m biased. I was story lead on the Disney Infinity Moana playset!)

Aren’t they so cute? Aren't they?

They are.

I had a lot of great experiences while working on the playset, and one of them was flying out to Burbank and working with Ron Clements and John Musker, the directors of the movie.

(That’s them.)

The cool thing about this — for me — was that when I was a kid, the movie "Hercules" came out and I loved it so much I became obsessed, which some of you junior high and high school friends reading this might have remembered, and is a detail we don’t need to go into.

Except to say that my parents gave me an "Art of Hercules" book, and in there I learned all about Clements and Musker and found out what storyboarding was, and I resolved then and there I’d become a storyboard artist when I grew up and one day work with these directors (and I’m not just saying that — I really did).

So when they walked into our first meeting, I was like:

I played it "cool" though, and I’m sure they didn’t even notice me.

Well … maybe not.

Anyway, that was the first of a series of meetings and story development on a great, fun game.

You might be wondering, "I haven’t seen any of the Moana game figures or anything!"

You'd be right. Just when we were about to record the cinematics audio, everyone in the studio was brought together and told that we were shutting down, and to pack up our stuff and move on. Disney Infinity was canceled.


It wasn’t a great moment, but that's the business!

Even though the game was canceled (and it was an awesome game — StudioGobo, the studio we were contracting with, was really making some beautiful stuff), I’m still really grateful I had a chance to work on it. On to the next big adventure!

Here’s the intro animatic I created for the game, which was a fun challenge — we had to keep it short and low on assets for live render purposes. We had the idea of telling the intro narration on a tapa cloth tapestry, which would then be created in 3-D to look flat and textured. Needless to say, it was gnarly fun, and I’m glad I can now share it.